Spiced yellow split pea and mutton broth

Serves 4

300g yellow split peas or dahl, soaked overnight
A mutton shank or a piece of shoulder weighing about 700-800g
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
30g root ginger, scraped and finely chopped
1 small mild chilli, seeded and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp cumin seeds
3 litres of chicken stock (a couple of good cubes will do)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
2-3tbsp of chopped fresh coriander

Put the mutton shanks, onion and the spices in a saucepan with the ginger, chilli, garlic, bring to the boil, season and simmer gently for 2-2½ hours, topping up with water if necessary, or until the mutton is tender. If you have a pressure cooker it will take half the time.

Remove the mutton and put to one side. Put the yellow split peas and celery in the cooking liquor and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Blend about one-sixth of the soup in a liquidiser and pour back into the pan. Remove the mutton from the bone and flake or cut into small pieces and add to the soup.

Check the seasoning and adjust the consistency of the soup with more stock or water if it's too thick; soups made with pulses are a little unpredictable and can end up thicker than you expect. Add the chopped coriander and bring back to the boil. Serve.

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